Kmart Launches New Marketing Campaign and "Spokescharacter" Contemporary ’Mr. Bluelight’ Points Way to Unexpected Discoveries, Quality Products
Today Kmart is launching its first all-new integrated marketing campaign since 2003 and introducing “Mr. Bluelight,” an animated character. The new campaign will showcase the great quality at Kmart and highlight “surprising finds” at the store.
“Mr. Bluelight’s job is to highlight the great quality Kmart offers and to provide individual customers friendly guidance for their shopping needs,” said Bill Stewart, chief marketing officer of Kmart. “Although Mr. Bluelight is named for the company’s Blue Light Special of the 70s and 80s, he does not just represent a sale or clearance anymore.”
“We are injecting fresh ideas, fun and new products into Kmart, both in-store and online,” said Stewart, “and Mr. Bluelight is our expert on all things ’Kmart’ -- the shopper’s friend who represents new discoveries that delight, excite and inspire. People who shop for the ’thrill of the hunt’ will find it at Kmart.”
“With Mr. Bluelight, we are making the shopping experience fun. We know there are more people than ever today who see shopping as an escape and a reward, and we are giving them the entertainment and excitement they seek,” said Stewart, who notes that the new direction is based on trend research and analysis, as well as on dialogue with customers.
Kmart’s new television advertising campaign featuring Mr. Bluelight kicks off on May 14, 2007 with a spot that features the character commentating on a Kmart fashion show. It showcases the style, fit and quality of Kmart fashions, along with a little “light bulb” humor. The spots will first air on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and NBC’s “Deal or No Deal,” and will continue to run nationally on network, cable, and syndicated television, including the season finales of ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Bachelor.” A Spanish-language version of the ad launches May 21.
Kmart plans to increase its online presence, with both a new online e-commerce platform and online advertising on sites including iVillage and Yahoo. In addition, Kmart has formed a partnership with ABC’s new “National BINGO Night,” a family show that allows viewers at home to play along and win prizes from Kmart.
The marketing campaign also will utilize Mr. Bluelight in-store, online and in the Kmart circular to help customer’s distinguish what’s new, different, better and special about products at Kmart - pointing out limited-time-only offers as well as unexpected discoveries.
For shoppers, among the first visible changes in-store and online are a substantial assortment of Craftsman products and a growing variety of Kenmore appliances. In addition, Kmart has made upgrades to its apparel business, with emphasis on higher quality, better fit and great fashion at an amazing value. Exclusive fashion lines include Jaclyn Smith, Attention, Joe Boxer and Route 66. The electronics department has been improved with a broader selection and choice of brands.
Kmart is adding more special items called BlueLight Finds and Best of Blue. Blue Light Finds will highlight special limited-time-only merchandise, while Best of Blue will feature items that are unique to Kmart and offer superior quality. Additional in-store and online developments will continue throughout the year.
The Blue Light Special began in an Indiana Kmart store in 1965 as a promotional tool to help the bargain hunter of that time locate sale merchandise. The practice, along with its catchphrase “Attention, Kmart shoppers!”, spread to all Kmart stores. It was discontinued in 1991. Today, while the search for bargains is still a priority for some shoppers, for many others shopping is an experience in itself, a leisure time activity and a source of entertainment.
“Responding to current trends, we have chosen to speak to our customers in a new voice and to reach them in a new way that is more relevant to their shopping needs and preferences today,” said Stewart.
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